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And "alice" Is Dead...


“Alice” the ‘puter is dead. I don’t know if ‘twas I that killed her, or whether her motherboard just finally reached the end of its useful life, but she finally gave up the ghost this week. I haven’t quite been ‘puterless; there is “Lazarus,” daughter’s old laptop which got resurrected from the dead and equipped with Windows XP. Lazz does have 2 gigabytes of RAM, but needs all my old software installed to be useful, and that could take a while.

His biggest “issue” is he can’t burn CDs—and that’s apparently a structural defect: user groups have apparently been complaining about that particular model of Dell laptop for years, and specifically about that particular problem. The fancy DVD/CD-rewritable drives never did work. There are work-arounds, of course—one thing I am good at is work-arounds—but it is a time-consuming pain.

Got a replacement computer that’s presently housing Alice’s old hard drive, but it’s got a few problems of its own, that might or might not be related to housing Alice’s brain along with its own (yes, it’s The Machine With Two Brains); it’s too early to tell. It is appallingly slow, and loses track of things, and it shouldn‘t do either one. I have more tests to run. If that computer can be made to work properly, it could help for a while: it’s even got a “firewire” port so I could hook up the Arts Center’s older video camera. It’s a little slim in the RAM department, but it’s not bad. And I’m not investing money in it. I am trying to avoid investing money in anything.

I was going to list the Train Set in this issue of the blog, but I’ll wait; the Lions Club, which is organizing the celebration Saturday—yes, just one week away—has an impressive, if last-minute, schedule of events that may result in Deathgrass not being able to play much at all. I’ve e-mailed them, thanking them for the schedule and asking what they’re up to, and we’ll see. Why is it the free gigs that are always the most trouble?

Of course, we’re not perfect, either: both John (bass) and Doc (blues harp) will be out of town October 1, so Jane Dunkin will be lead on fiddle and Wayne Moore, who played bass for 45 Degrees North, has agreed to do bass. I was hoping we’d get two nights’ practice in this coming week, what with two of the band (and half the material) being new.

On the plus side, I did get the Shoe Project done, and on time; I had to substitute an electric CD player for the little portable one (which didn’t work, despite the thrift store’s protestations), and that meant re-designing the whole project at the last minute, since the big CD player was not going to fit in a little flower basket. The Women’s Resource Center was excited about having a piece of artwork that played music, and I hope they like the song. It plays “Sometimes She Could Scream” (lyrics by Donna Devine, who lives in The Netherlands, music by me—and it is one of the Tascam recordings that came out decent), which is a slightly different look at “abuse.” It was also a deliberate attempt on my part to demonstrate that country music could be a good vehicle for addressing social issues—something it’s almost never used for. The Shoe Projects—they have something like 75 entries—go on display at the Arts Center October 1 but if I manage to get to their reception it won’t be for long: Jane and I are scheduled to be performing at the Talent Show in Manzanita that night. We’ll be treating the assembled multitude to “The Abomination Two-Step.”



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